Old 08-08-2012, 07:51 PM #1
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Default How do I focus a laser beam?

Hello,

I'm an Electrical Engineering student and my final project is laser related.
We're building some kind of a CNC machine that should cut Styrofoam or black foam using a laser beam.

I've disassembled a DVD-RW x22 and got this laser diode out:



I've found the diode pins and connected it to a lab power source.
the result was a wide red laser beam.

My question is:
How do I focus the laser beam so it will be powerful enough to cut black foam?
Do I need to disassemble all the optics and use the diode only?

Thanks,
Nadav



Last edited by NadavCo; 08-08-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:56 PM #2
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Default Re: How do I focus a laser beam?

Buy an aixiz module. Press the diode in. Wire it up. Should be a perfectly collumated beam
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:58 PM #3
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Default Re: How do I focus a laser beam?

You need an Aixiz Module. AixiZ 10pack 12x30mm Housing Blanks, AixiZ

You will also need goggles. Any laser that can cut foam can blind you instantly.

A beginners guide can be found here

Last edited by Jacob32123; 08-08-2012 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:17 PM #4
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Default Re: How do I focus a laser beam?

Thanks guys.

Unfortunately I'm short in time, I need the laser working in one week which is not enough for purchasing and receiving the aixiz housing.

Do you have a more DIY solution for me?
Is there something else I can use to focus the laser?

One more thing...
I also ordered this laser from eBay:
One extra high burning power (1000-1500mW) infrared TO-5 9mm laser diode + Gift | eBay

Is it going to be unfocused as the one I have now?
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:22 PM #5
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Default Re: How do I focus a laser beam?

Use a convex lens (magnifying glass) to focus it. That infrared diode will also be unfocused.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:30 PM #6
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Default Re: How do I focus a laser beam?

Yes it will be unfocused as the one you currently have, and the bluray diode is probably too weak depending on the thickness and color of the foam you'll probably need a 500mW+ laser. Your kinda up a creek having only one week to make this laser.

I guess overnight ship the parts you need but it sounds like your behind the learning curve when it comes to lasers. Your best bet at this point is to get a completed or nearly completed laser one day shipped to you. Why are you in the situation where you only have a week to make this?
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:31 PM #7
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Default Re: How do I focus a laser beam?

Since you're making a CNC project, i recommend a Violet (405nm) laser module with a driver pre-wired from DTR.
Violet lasers will be twice as powerful than the red from a DVD burner and are BEST for cutting at this scale..

here's the link for his shop
https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf...12x-405-diodes
You can purchase either a bare diode, Or a mounted diode with leads,
But as you said you will need this in 5-days time, so i think you should really consider the $99 (with Focusable glass lens) or the $130 (with high quality 405-G-2 lens) which will give you additional 31% over the standard lens.
hope this helps..
feel free to ask DTR, he will guide you further.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:40 PM #8
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Default Re: How do I focus a laser beam?

No time to order a aixiz housing(it will save you countless hours) but time to order a much more dangerous laser on ebay. I hope the laser ordered on ebay comes with goggles.
IT scares me that you are in a hurry, that is went accidents happen.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:59 PM #9
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Default Re: How do I focus a laser beam?

The project is very complicated, the laser is only the final punch.
I admit that I should have found this forum weeks ago, I had a long research for information but nothing compares to the knowledge you guys have.

Steveo, I've ordered the "much more dangerous" laser about a week ago and I hope it will arrive on time. If I knew I would have order the aixiz module.
By the way, thanks for your care for my health, although i'm a noobe in the laser field I'm not going rush and make stupid mistakes.
I promise not to operate any of those lasers without goggles!

Thanks so much!
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